Opening 22th of Mai, 2018

HIS MOM / SEINE MUTTER is a compilation of new and older works by the artist Vera Klimentyeva. At the center is a female figure, who can be elevated to the Madonna by her "insignia". Mary has a special significance in Russia and is worshiped by the common people as a protector. The mother of all.

Mary is a woman who gave birth to a son, a myth made her the mother of God. Per se, she remains a woman who has given birth to a child, a natural way of renewing / continuing humanity / reproduction. Like every mother, Maria promises to give protection, to pay attention, to avert disaster.

But what happens when the "insignia" are exchanged, when the veil becomes a headscarf, the child becomes the Kalashnikov, the cross the sickle?

How far is the iconography of Mary systematisable, where she can mutate in her geographical variants to multiple personalities.

The various and local strands of the history of the image of Mary overlap in many ways and are connected not least with the history of the Marian devotion, whose changing attitude also brought about a change of meaning in the representations.

Following the reasoning of worshipping, we could conclude that the artist can be understood as a matchmaker. One that sets up encounters, but can’t clearly foresee the outcomes, as the encounters unfold not between them and the audience, and perhaps not even between the work and the audience. If art is working properly, the work becomes a tool that officiates an encounter of the audience with themselves. As well as the interpretation is related to education and socialization. Freud makes comparable statements in his essay “The Uncanny”, his sole treatment of the matter of aesthetics.  Rather than being moved by encountering something alien to us, we are shocked by experiencing an unknown part of ourselves as we encounter a work of art. The feeling is not a choice, nor something anyone indulges in willfully, or in a controlled manner.


The artistic interest in identification, religion, the human being, traditional roles in our society runs like a red thread through Vera Klimentyeva's work. Her investigation of matter and questions entice her to deconstruct things, to focus on details, to later transform the pieces to another level. This practice sharpens the view and allows further interpretation of set pieces. She enjoys the diversity and entanglement of various disciplines, as well as the international dialogue that takes place between artists, philosophers, writers and many others.


Vera Klimentyeva was born in Moscow in the late 80s and came to Vienna at the age of 19. She studied at the Moscow State University of Printing Arts and since 2008 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. The intellectual claim of the Viennese scene and its internationality have given her a kick, accelerating her personal development and opening up new perspectives. The interplay between excellent education and new-found knowledge, as well as the never-ending source of knowledge that is still being tapped, confirms Vera Klimentyeva having found the right place for this period of her life.